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  • Writer's picturefinchanddaisy

You're Going to do the Right Thing


Today. Was. A. Day. That’s the line that keeps ringing in our minds as each long, exhausting day comes to a close and we’re finally able to pause, reflect, and think of how we’re going to tackle tomorrow before it tackles us. The last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for each and every one of us. Tears have been shed, lives have been lost, and toilet paper has gone from being an afterthought on shopping trips to now being worthy of hours to track down. We’ve had to make decisions and compartmentalize our energy {worry} in ways that we never thought we’d have to do. What happens next? What does social-distancing mean? How are we going to homeschool and work at the same time? How am I going to lead my team through this? Will the work get done? Is my job safe? Am I doing the right thing? 


For many of us, our leadership and work ethic are rooted in who we are and what matters most to us - it’s a testament to our truest self. So, what happens when a pandemic arises and you’re forced to make hard, unplanned and painful decisions that will impact your team, your family, your neighbors, and ultimately the world? You pull up. You rally. And you come back to your values – using them as a guidepost through these harsh and murky waters. Because decisions rooted in unwavering values, empathy, and forward thinking produce the best outcomes and long-term results. Results that you can feel good about in the end. Scholar, Harry Kraemer says it all comes down to two things:

  1. Do the right thing, and

  2. Do the best you can.


Doing the right thing not only challenging but complex and different for everyone. Lucky for us, Kraemer offers four guiding principles that can help us in the lifelong journey of values-based leadership no matter what the circumstance:

  • 1. Self-reflection: Identify your values, what you stand for, and what matters most to you. To be a values-based leader, you must be willing to look within yourself through regular self-reflection and strive for greater self-awareness. After all, if you aren't self-reflective, how can you truly know yourself? If you don't know yourself, how can you lead yourself? If you cannot lead yourself, how can you lead others?

  • Activity: Take some time to think about the questions above. It can also be helpful to talk to a trusted friend and/or family to help identify and put a name to them.

  • 2. Balance: The ability to see situations from multiple perspectives and differing viewpoints to gain a fuller understanding. You consider all sides and opinions with an open mind before coming to a conclusion. You seek to understand before being understood.

  • Activity: This about a recent time when you needed to make a big decision. How did you go about making the call and did you evaluate all sides? If you didn’t look at all side, what could you do differently next time?

  • 3. True Self-Confidence: This means accepting yourself as you are at any point in time. Realizing that you are a work in process, you recognize your strengths and your weaknesses, and you strive for continuous improvement. With true self-confidence, you know there will always be people who are more gifted, accomplished, and successful, but you're OK with who you are.

  • Activity: On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate your confidence as it relates to you as a leader/team member OR a particular project your working on? Why did you give yourself that number? What’s impacting that number and what, if anything, could you do to improve it?

  • 4. Authentic humility: Humility enables you to remember who you are and where you came from, and it keeps life in perspective, particularly as you experience success in your career. In addition, it helps you value each person you encounter and treat everyone respectfully. When people ask you how you have achieved certain accomplishments, you realize that in addition to the fact that you have worked hard and have certain skill sets, your accomplishments are also a result of God-given talents.

  • Activity: Think of a recent time you became defensive when someone disagreed with you. What may have been underlying your feelings in that moment? What is a specific step you can take to better understand someone who disagrees with you on an important issue?


We would also add that, now more than ever, practicing empathy, over judgment will help move us to a place of peace and perseverance. If you can practice this, which isn’t easy at times and often takes great intention and discipline, we will all be stronger and better for it. Because in the end, when it’s all said and done, wouldn’t we all like to be able to say that we did the right thing?

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